Grammar and Syntax

Image CC-BY-NC (source: xkcd.com)

Hierarchy of Syntactic Elements

Sentence

|

Clause

|

Phrase

|

Word

Syntactic Roles

Types of Sentence

Word Order in Present-Day English

headclause: SVO Jack eats carrots.
subclause: SVO I know [that Jack eats carrots].
I know [that Jack carrots eats].
adv + headclause: SVO Then Jack ate a carrot.
Then ate Jack a carrot.
adv + headclause: VS
(only with certain intransitive verbs)
Then came the aftershock.
imperative: VO Eat your greens!
interrogative with to be: VS Why was he here?
interrogative with aux.: vSV What have I done?

Word Order in Old English

headclause SVO God lufode Iācob.
headclause VSO Wæs hē Osrices sunu.
headclause SOV Þū þæt cwǣde.
subclause SOV Ic wāt [þæt þū mē gehȳrst].
adv + headclause VSO Ðā slōg se wind þone lēg on þæt hūs.
adv + headclause SV Þā sēo fǣmne cwæð: …
adv + headc. + prep. VSiO Þā cwæð se engel tō hyre: …
adv + headclause + prep. ViOS Þā cwæð him hǣlend tō: …

Word Order in Old English

prep. + headclause VSO On þǣre tīde cwæð Petrus …
prep. + headclause SVO On ðǣm dǣge hē gemētte āne ēa.
subclause SiOV Ic wāt [þæt hē inc ābolgen wyrð].
subclause iOVS Ic wāt [þæt ūs cymð se Mæssias].
imperative VSO Ne et ðū of þām trēowe!

Word Order in Middle English

headclause SVO Adam clepide alle thingis.
headclause VS And maad is euen and moru, the thrid day.
subclause SVO And God saiȝ [that it were good].
Whan men bigunnen to be multiplied vpon the erthe, …
adv + headclause SVO Than Noe vndirstode that wateres hadden cesyd vpon erthe.
adv + headclause VS
Than came Hernyer the traytour.
imperative: VO Honour thi fader and thi moder.
interrogative: VS Where art thow?
Whi comaundide God to ȝow, that ȝe shulden not ete of ech tree of paradis?

Word Order In Sum

Syntactic Schools

Generative (transformational) grammar: A linguistic model postulating an innate set of syntactic rules from which all linguistic utterances are generated, involving a transformation from an underlying deep structure to the apparent surface structure.

[Deep Structure] → [Subsystem] → [Surface Structure]

Cognitive grammar: An approach to linguistics that understands language as an abstract symbolic system directly rooted in the same cognitive processes used for other thought processes and thus not routed through a syntactic subsystem.

Generative Grammar

Phrase structure rules: A set of rules for parsing syntactic structures, defining the constitution of phrases with a view to finding structural correspondences across languages.

S → NP VP: A sentence consists of a noun phrase followed by verb phrase.

NP → (Det) (A) N (PP): A noun phrase consists of a noun preceded by the optional elements determiner and adjective and followed by the optional element prepositional phrase.

Phrase Structure

Phrase Structure

Phrase Structure

Phrase Structure

Phrase Structure

Sentence Structure

Sentence Structure

Sentence Structure